Speakers at the ongoing 13th International Conference on HIV Treatment, Pathogenesis, and Prevention Research in Resource-Limited Settings (INTEREST) have called on Ghana to urgently source for local funds to support her HIV activities.
They said since donor funds keeps dwindling, and continue to affect the implementation of HIV programmes in the country, the time has come for Ghana to concentrate on mobilising local funds to enable her to accelerate efforts in combating HIV.
The lack of adequate funding had been said to keep Ghana in “a standstill position” as she struggled for funds to fight HIV.
This is eroding some of the progress made, over the years, with fears that with the current trend, Ghana might not be able to reach HIV Epidemic Control by 2030.
Estimates and projections show an increasing number of Persons Living with HIV, and a national HIV population of greater than 330,000 as prevalence keeps rising slowly.
New infections and deaths were reducing very slowing below 20,000 and 15,000 respectively, while more females (65 per cent) were being infected and living with HIV, but more males (51 per cent) were said to be dying due to AIDS than females.
The 2018 UNAIDS Report revealed that Ghana had an estimated 3,400 new HIV infections in children under 14 years in 2017.
Mrs Cecilia Senoo, the Executive Director of the Hope for Future Generation, a non-governmental organization, in a panel discussion at the conference, said Ghana needed to create an AIDS fund from which funds could be sourced to cater for HIV activities.
“Ghana can look for funds from these telecommunication companies and from everywhere so we can have our own local funds to fund our programmes,” she said.
Dr Stephen Ayisi Addo, the Programme Manager of the National AIDS Control Programme (NACP), said the country must increase the resource mobilisation drive for HIV activities.
However, he said the NACP had been collaborating with the Ghana Education Service and the Ministry of Education to include HIV education in the schools’ curricula to intensify awareness among pupils.
The media was also being engaged to intensify education among the populace.
Professr Elly Katabira, from the Makerere University of Uganda, who was also a Co-Chair of INTEREST, said Africa, indeed, needed to own its HIV activities instead of depending on donor countries to determine which HIV interventions it could pursue at a time.
The four-day conference aims, among other things, to provide cutting-edge knowledge in the fields of treatment, pathogens, and prevention of HIV-1 and related infections and chronic conditions.
It is also to exchange ideas on how to provide and support HIV testing services and clinical care provision to adults, adolescents and children living with HIV in Africa to achieve the 90-90-90 HIV goals.
It was opened by the First Lady, Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo, who called for interventions including the improvement of access to family planning services, girl-child education, and economic empowerment initiatives.
This would help prevent teenage and unplanned pregnancies among young women and prevent them from contracting HIV.
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Go for Ghana Card – Volta NDC to supporters
Mr James Gunu, the Volta Regional Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) has urged Ghanaians, especially supporters of the Party to fully participate in the Ghana Card registration exercise, which commenced in the region on Monday, July 22.
He said, “the Volta Region NDC wishes to encourage all and sundry, including party faithfuls, to participate in the ongoing Ghana card registration exercise. Ghana card is not for any political party, it is for all of us, so everyone must take part, even though the exercise was not given enough days”.
Mr. Gunu was addressing supporters of the party at a “revival rally” on the theme, “mobilizing all available resources for victory 2020”, on Sunday at Agbozume, in the Ketu South constituency of the Volta Region.
He asked followers of the NDC to encourage their households to register and ignore any acts of “intimidation” from opposition parties.
Mr Gunu called for unity in the Party ahead of the Parliamentary Primaries and urged members to accept outcomes of vetting of aspirants and elections of parliamentary candidates.
Mr. Bright Kumordzi, Ketu South Constituency Chairman of the NDC, appealed to all delegates to choose the best candidate for the parliamentary seat and commended aspirants in the Constituency for working together in peace.
The fund raising rally brought together some branch executives, former and present constituency executives as well as all the parliamentary aspirants in the constituency, to at mobilize resources towards attaining the 2020 agenda of the party.
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Government says GH¢3b road projects to start nationwide
Government has announced plans to start road infrastructural development in the second half of the year, amounting to GH¢3 billion.
Road projects are expected to see a major boost nationwide upon the resumption of the cocoa roads projects.
It will be recalled that cocoa road projects were discontinued for audit and re-scoping and proper alignment of funds to execute them.
Mr. Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, the Information Minister, announced this at a media briefing in Accra.
He said upon completion of the audit exercise, some road projects have been terminated and others re-scoped, while others have been handed over to the proper agencies such as Highways and Urban Roads to execute.
He said funding is being made available for the commencement of those projects, with the assurance that contractors would be paid for work done.
He said more than three billion Ghana cedis of cocoa roads are set to commence under the new programme in cocoa growing areas across the country.
Other road projects funded through the Central Government budget and road fund are expected to pick up during the year, he added.
He said the LEKMA roads and others have already been given out on contract and contractors are already mobilising to site.
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Group to check misuse of drugs in Sabon Zongo formed
Zongo Against Drug (ZAD), a civic pressure group, has been formed at Sabon Zongo in the Ablekuma Central Municipality, to check misuse of drugs by the youth in the area.
It also aims at championing the cause of sensitising the youth about the dangers of drugs, its consequences and help them to abstain from it.
Mr. Abdul Rahim Salifu Ango, Chairman of the group and a Clinical Psychologist at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, told the Ghana News Agency that, the group would create awareness among the muslim youth in Accra, on avoiding negative practices in society and to uphold high moral principles.
ZAD, he said, is a non-partisan group, whose membership cuts across the political divide, adding that, it comprises opinion leaders of the community and some chiefs too.
He said it seeks to stimulate action among policy makers and the public to recognise and take pragmatic measures to discourage the youth on deviant and immoral acts.
Mr. Salifu Ango said Information and Communication Technology (ICT) tools presented more opportunities for the muslim youth and there is the need to prepare themselves to play meaningful roles in the country.
He said ZAD intends to work in partnership with private and public sector institutions as well as international Non-Governmental Organisations(NGOs) committed to the same goals.
He expressed the hope that the media would continue to play its critical role of informing and educating the public about the concerns of ZAD.
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